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Why the Los Angeles Lakers Don't Need to Panic

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Panic is for wimps. For those without a memory. For those who refuse patience and actually prefer to be pandered to. 

The Los Angeles Lakers critics hastily assume the Purple and Gold’s inauspicious 1-4 start warrants full-on panic.

To all those calling for the panic button, please grab your smartphone, check the date, and then as five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant put it, "Shut up."

All is well in Laker Land.

Did you really think a roster full of big names would never lose?

Just ask LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. They forged a superteam in Miami in 2010 that had more hype than perhaps any in history and stumbled to a 9-8 record out of the gate.

Just FYI, they made it all the way to the NBA Finals before being eliminated from the playoffs.

There’s no denying that this Lakers team of superstars was intentionally designed to win now and thus expected to win now. Unfortunately, there's also no denying that they look slow, old, incapable and, as a result, incredibly frustrated.

The chinks in the armor have not just been revealed, they’ve been exploited.

But critics are wrong to induce panic when a rough start can be a blessing in disguise.

The 1991 Chicago Bulls began 0-3, much like this seemingly hapless group of Lakers this season, and then rallied to win an NBA title that same year.

The Lakers most glaring problem is chemistry; a problem solved by one thing: time.

Since coming off back surgery, Dwight Howard’s defensive prowess has not lived up to expectations, and he instead looks to be a step behind his old self. Steve Nash’s immediate injury has disrupted what most Lakers fans had hoped they would finally have, a true, high-caliber point guard facilitating a potentially explosive offense.

The list goes on—a new offensive scheme, Kobe’s ankle issues, a lack of depth and youth on the bench and a lack of reliable outside shooting.

Despite these problems, panic isn’t even on the Lakers’ radar.

Los Angeles is a culture that doesn’t celebrate winning—it expects it. That’s why Lakers management, Kobe Bryant and NBA fans with a grasp of history can gauge that a poor start is not the end of the world.

The problems the Lakers face will not suddenly evaporate, but the adage “time heals all” has never been more appropriate. 

Jim Buss, the executive vice president of the team, said if the Lakers went 1-15 this season, then there would be cause for panic (h/t ESPN). Yet, he knows, just as you should, that something like that is not going to happen.

There are 82 games in a season, folks. Let the Lakers find their rhythm before ruling them out.

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